Patients - ENG
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a screw, usaually made from titanium, that is used to replace the root of a missing tooth. There are different lengths (7 to 18 mm) and diameters (3 to 6 mm). The implant is screwed into the jaw where it provides a solid foundation for a crown, bridge or other dental prosthesis that replaces one or more missing teeth.
After an implant is placed, the surrounding bone will grow in contact with the implant surface and attach to it. This process of attachment is called “osseointegration”.
When are implants indicated?
When you have lost or may be about to lose one or more teeth or molars that your dentist believes are essential:
If you may be about to lose teeth or molars
If you have lost teeth or molars
If teeth or molars have not developed
If your acid-etched bridge regularly comes loose
If you have problems with dentures, such as being loose, difficulty chewing or speaking, pain when eating, a gagging reflex when wearing a prosthesis or a sunken mouth or cheeks.
If your partial prothesis (frame or plate) does not feel comfortable or if you are unable to accept a removable prosthesis.
Am I too old or too young for implants?
In principle you are never too old for an implant. Implanting is possible provided that you are healthy and that you are able to physically withstand the treatment. It is regularly used with success for people aged 90+.
People can be too young for implants. If a tooth is to be replaced whereby the gums are visible (specifically in relation to the top teeth) then it can be better not to have an implant before the age of 18. Up to that age it is wise to replace teeth or molars with a temporary structure.
The jaws must be fully developped and not all people achieve this by the same age. If implants are fitted too early the implant will remain “fixed” in its position, while the other teeth develop even further. As a result of this the implant will ultimately remain above the level of the adjacent teeth. This is quite unattractive and very little can be done about it subsequently.
Is the treatment painfull?
No. An effective local anaesthetic is used before surgery so no discomfort is felt as implants are placed. Any mild discomfort that may be experienced after surgery can be controlled with conventional painkiller tablets.
Can an implant be removed again?
Difficult. The bone fuses fully with an implant. If bone grows against an implant surface it becomes impossible te screw out an implant. In that cas an implant has to be drilled out and this generally results in considerable bone loss.
What are the advantages of implants?
Implants have a very good long-term prognosis compared to other dental solusions
Your own teeth or molars do not need te be ground down (as with a bridge)
Implants are secured to the jaw and allow a fixed structure te be created
An implant crown or bridge is more comfortable than a removable structure
Implants restore your ability to chew
Because the teeth are secured you no longer need to be insecure when in the company of others
The structures are strong and are not sensitive to dental decay
What are the costs of a treatment?
The costs of a treatment depend on many factors. What is the situation with your teeth? What is it you like to achieve? Are you missing teeth or molars, and if so how many? Is there sufficient bone present for fitting an implant? What temporary arrangement would you like to have?
What are the disadvatages of implants?
It is impossible to imagine restorative dentistry today whitout implant treatments. If implants are indicated on time the treatment does not need to be more expensive than having a bridge fitted, for example, and the time it takes for treatments is not much longer. However, if inflammation has been present around a tooth or molar for a longer period of timeit will be necessary to repair the bone and the treatment will therfore take longer and be more expensive. In case the treatment will also be more intensive.
What is the succes-percentage of implants?
The life of implants increases as knowledge and experience of implantology increases. Research has shown that in the lower jaw 96% of implants stil function whitout any problems after 10 years. The prognosis in the upper jaw was always slightly lower than 93%. The reason for the differnce is the somewhat more brittle structure of the bone in the upper jaw. These percentages are expected to be higher for the implants that are currently being fitted because the surfaces of the implants and the surgical techniques have improved considerably compared to 10 years ago.
Is it possible to have a bridge on one implant and one thooth?
From a technical point of view this is possible, however, it is not recommended. These structrures often break. Your own tooth has a periodontal ligament that allows a small amount of movement. An implant, however, allows NO movement whatsoever because it is anchored rigidly to the bone. Because of the difference in movement then all presure is applied onto the implant as a result of which the screw in the implant can become damaged and the implant can even break. The natural tooth usually comes loose from the bridge as a result of which it becomes decayed.